AeroVironment pairs with Milbank to sell electric vehicle chargers nationwide

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AeroVironment Inc., the Monrovia maker of electric vehicle chargers, is planning to go national in a big way with a new distribution deal.

Milbank Manufacturing Co. of Kansas City, Mo., known for its electrical metering equipment, will sell AeroVironment chargers to its wide network of commercial, residential and industrial customers starting in March.

After plug-in vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf launched late last year, the industry responsible for setting up electric vehicle infrastructure has been buzzing.

AeroVironment, which also makes drone aircraft for the military, already inked a deal with Nissan to set up home charging stations for Leafs. It also paired up with NRG Energy Inc. to install a web of chargers around Houston.


Milbank will offer a range of AeroVironment chargers, including units for homes, offices, retail complexes, construction sites and more. Some docks will be able to charge multiple cars at once, while others will be able to juice up the vehicles in minutes instead of hours.

This is Milbank’s first foray into the electric vehicle support market, though the company already makes other clean-tech products such as small-scale wind turbines and portable generators.

“It’s very difficult for us to reach out to all of those people on our own,” said Aerovironment spokesman Steven Gitlin. “This is a very helpful complement to our direct sales effort and significantly expands our reach, getting us in front of a lot more folks.”


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-- Tiffany Hsu